Items tagged with micro-code

Another day, another disclosure of a new side-channel exploit affecting modern PC processors. This time around, we're talking about ZombieLoad, which takes advantage of vulnerabilities specific to Intel processors. At its heart, ZombieLoad is reminiscent of Meltdown, Spectre and Foreshadow, which we have all covered in great detail over the past year. More specifically, ZombieLoad takes advantage of a processor's fill-buffer logic. Digging into the white paper, we see that the researchers behind the exploit were able to extract secure keys from Intel's own architectural quoting enclave, which in effect broke the confidentiality of SGX (Software Guard Extensions). In addition, the researchers... Read more...
A quick call with AMD has revealed that the company will soon be releasing a micro-code update for the fresh-out-of-the-gate Athlon II X2 series processor.The processors, while sharing the microarchitecture of the Phenom II, have slightly altered dies which drop the L3 cache in favor of a bigger 1MB per core L2 cache – which AMD hints somewhat lowered the thermals and allowed them to market the faster processor. There was also an assurance from AMD – in not so many words – that other speed grades are to come (upwards,we’re guessing, as downwards wouldn’t be a feat of any greatness).  The current batch of Athlon II X2 250 processors are all affected by a bug, however. The bug... Read more...